5 Reasons Why Doing What You Love Is the Only Way to Do Great Work
You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning and for a moment you’re floating in a haze of well-being, only to have it torn apart by the realization that you have to go to work soon? I do. Those moments were horrible. It wasn’t always there. Some days were better than others, but it was there often enough to be a serious bummer. After all, that shouldn’t be the way to start your day!
The thing is, it turns out I’m not the only person who feels that way. In fact, less than half of Americans are happy at their work. That might not be so bad as in 2010 when only 40% of people liked their job, but that doesn’t change the facts. The vast majority would experience more mental wellbeing doing something else, doing something they love.
And the thing is, that would be great for employers too. After all,
1. A happy employee is a more productive employee
Research has shown that happy employees are on average 12% more productive than their less happy counterparts. What’s more, they’re more protected from stress and illness, they’re less likely to experience negative emotions, they live longer, they take less sick days and they’re much less likely to leave for another company. In other words, there are nothing but benefits. And yet so few employers are really doing anything with this information.
Well if they aren’t, then we’re going to do it ourselves! The first step for finding the best job is writing the stunning CV (you can check some top websites for help). So, let’s look at some of the best reasons why you should think about finding work that you love. The best reason has to be:
Flow is wonderful. It’s a mental state where everything – your problems, your to-do list, your itches, your cold feet – for a time falls away as you lose yourself in what you’re doing. It leads to positive emotions as well as an experience of wellbeing. It also makes you far more productive, as you bend yourself to the task at hand and let nothing distract you.
The thing is, Flow is not something that is just achieved one, two, three. You need to actually be completely engaged in the activity to have it. And the only way that that can happen is if you actually truly enjoy doing it. Even then, you’ve got to practice, so that you have enough confidence that the doubt monster doesn’t pull you back to the surface. For that reason, it’s vital to try to find work that’s more engaging so that you don’t only get to experience this in your free time.
3. Intrinsic Motivation
In psychology, they talk about two kinds of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic means that it comes from inside of you, so, for example, you are motivated to do the Sudoku puzzle because it interests you and when you finish it you feel satisfied and don’t expect any other kind of reward. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is external. This is money, praise or anything similar.
The research has shown that when your primary motivation is external, you’re far less likely to enjoy what you’re doing. In fact, often the simple act of giving somebody an extrinsic reward will make them enjoy the task less and will generally not get them perform better at it either.
The only counter agent against that is if they love what they do. Then chances are good that they will continue to love it, despite the introduction of extrinsic rewards such as money. In other words, they continue to be motivated by the act itself, instead of seeing it as a means to an end as jobs are for most of us.
And that’s important because:
4. If you love what you’ll do you’ll keep doing it
And that’s a vital part of what makes doing what you love so important. Even in the down times, you’ll still gain satisfaction from it – heck, you’d do it for free if you had to. That means two things. First of all, it means that instead of your work dragging you further down on your bad days, it lifts you up. It acts as a high point in your day rather than something that you need to recover from.
Secondly, it means that you’re going to put in the hours to make certain that whatever you’re working on is going to be at the top of its game. And that is how you get noticed and make a splash. As nothing impresses quite as much as something that’s perfect.
Except, maybe, for something made with:
5. Real Passion
I don’t know what it is about real passion, but you can see it in an end product. If you visit a restaurant where the cook cares about what they’re doing, the food somehow has something that an uncaring cook will never have. You can see it in everything – words on a page, paint on a canvas, even in the bricks in a wall.
And wouldn’t the world be so much more beautiful if everything around you was filled with the passion of the people that created it? It certainly would feel us with more passion if we get to look at what we do and be proud of it.
We’ve got to do what we love! Because if we’re doing it for money then where does the joy come in? After all, beyond a certain limit where we can put food on the table and meet our friends at a café, money doesn’t really change how happy we are. In fact, I suspect most people buy all the stuff they do in part because they’re trying to fill the hole left in their lives because they’re not engaged with what they’re doing. But you can’t fill the absence of meaning in your life with a new coach or a new phone. You can only fill it by finding meaning. And that means doing something we love.
So what are we all waiting for?
PS: Please leave a comment below and tell me if you are doing what you love at work or how do you plan to do what you love?
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